Van Gogh to Kandinsky
Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Painting, Edinburgh, United-Kingdom
Saturday July 14, 2012 - Sunday October 14, 2012 - Event ended.
This exhibition is a collaboration between the National Galleries of Scotland, the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and the Ateneum Museum, Helsinki. This will be the first ever exhibition dedicated to Symbolist landscape painting. Symbolism emerged in Europe after Impressionism as artists developed a more imaginative, emotional response to the world around them – a route which took them from Naturalism to the edges of Abstraction.
The exhibition will present a wide range of poetic and suggestive paintings of nature from about 1880-1910. It will focus on major artists of the avant-garde such as Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch but will also introduce you to a group of less well known artists from Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe.
This blockbuster exhibition, which is a collaboration between the National Galleries of Scotland, the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and the Ateneum Art Museum Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, brings to life a period around the turn of the 20th century that features some of the world’s most famous artists from Van Gogh, Gauguin and Munch to Mondrian and Kandinsky. Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape 1880 - 1910 at the Scottish National Gallery presents the only chance for UK audiences to see the first ever exhibition to address the theme of symbolist landscape painting. Focusing on nature and the world around them, symbolist artists were able to suggest a deeper and more meaningful reality behind the ordinary and the everyday. These artists rejected the materialism and modernity of the late nineteenth century and created an imaginary world of dreams and visions. Two of the most famous examples of symbolism, Gauguin’s Vision of the Sermon and Van Gogh’s Sower feature in the exhibition. Symbolist Landscape will also introduce a number of less familiar but brilliantly inventive artists from across Europe, shown for the first time in Scotland, whose work will further demonstrate the far-reaching and influential nature of Symbolism.
The symbolist movement embraced many art forms and visitors will be able to listen to specifically chosen music by Rachmaninov, Debussy and Sibelius, which will perfectly complement the imagery in the show. For the first time at the National Galleries interactive iPad stations throughout the exhibition - featuring music, poetry and other material - will complement the experience for visitors and demonstrate the influence the symbolist movement had across art forms. Composer Craig Armstrong and poet and novelist John Burnside have also contributed content including an extract from Amstrong’s Immer (Violin Concerto No. 1).
Michael Clarke Director of the Scottish National Gallery said:
“This exhibition is an outstanding opportunity for audiences to see what was going on across Europe at the turn of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Symbolist imagery was inspired by the imagination, and led artists to respond to their surroundings freely as shown in this remarkable collection of landscape paintings. ‘Van Gogh to Kandinsky’ will take visitors on a voyage of visual rediscovery from the frozen Scandinavian north, via the dusty plains of Poland, to the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean. Along the way they’ll encounter the familiar – Van Gogh, Mondrian, Munch and Kandinsky – and the unfamiliar – Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Jacek Malczewski. Don’t miss this opportunity to broaden your artistic horizons.”